Delmec 2020: A Tough Year, a Brighter Future

The tree is up, the presents are wrapped and we’re awaiting the arrival of the big man in red. In many ways, it all feels very familiar, but in others, Christmas 2020 is very different indeed.

This time last year I was returning home from a sales trip around Asia. I’d covered eight countries in 12 days, a whirlwind tour of all the major cities, from Bangkok to Beijing. I spent my days meeting with clients, visiting sites, and learning more about the future of telecommunications in the region. Along the way I heard about rumblings about a SARS-like virus in China, but I had no idea of the impact it was about to have on the world as a whole.

Strength in Adversity

This year has upended our normality and thrust us into a state of constant flux. People have suffered greatly, particularly those who have been affected by this debilitating disease. Others have lost jobs and businesses they’ve worked all their lives to build. The effect on mental health, particularly on the older community, can’t be underestimated.

In times of adversity it’s possible to discover great strength, though, and I’m proud of how my team at Delmec have weathered this storm. Despite great upheaval, staff members continued their vital work, in our workshops, at our sites, and even across international borders. Others adapted quickly to working from home, fulfilling their duties while juggling family responsibilities.

Despite all the obstacles, we’ve continued to grow and expand, signing clients, undertaking assignments and developing our capabilities. I’m particularly proud of HR’s efforts to introduce staff-supporting policies and our engineering teams’ work on TiMs and the ground-breaking Project Eiffel. Our marketing and sales people worked tirelessly to build our business, bringing our new brand to life while the finance department, HSEQ and IT kept crucial cogs turning in the background. We welcomed new employees while celebrating the 20 and 25-year anniversaries of others. Every single member of the Delmec team gave it their all this year, coming together to support each other, protect our livelihoods and serve our clients during this tumultuous time.

On a personal note, 2020 has been challenging, but not without some upsides: like many people, I worked from home for most of the year, running Delmec from my kids’ playroom. Without constant travel, I spent much more time with my wife and children, and the experience really brought us closer together as a family. For the first time in years, I could explore more of my locality, enjoying beautiful runs along the River Barrow in County Carlow. We loved to amble through Rossmore Forest Park, which provided a treasured escape when cabin fever kicked in.

Like most of us, I’ll be glad to say goodbye to 2020, but I’m grateful for the lessons it’s taught us and I know the experience will make us stronger for 2021 and beyond. Our values – Solve Smart, Proactive Partners, Built Brave and Talented Teamwork – were established over 45 years, but they’re more relevant now than ever. We’re looking forward to all the possibilities that a new year brings, with projects to develop and tasks to tackle. No doubt there’ll be other challenges ahead, but the future is brightening here at Delmec, where synergy shapes success.


Project Eiffel Innovation

Inspiring and Innovating at Delmec: Project Eiffel

Here at Delmec, we pride ourselves on being problem-solvers. Ever since we first launched in the 1970s, there’s been no challenge too tough for our people.

Nowadays, we strategise solutions with software rather than a pen and paper, but our approach is still the same: if there’s a way to make our work safer, more efficient and more beneficial for our clients, we’ll make it happen. This is the kind of thinking that led to Project Eiffel, the latest innovation from our engineering design team.

This ground-breaking new application is transforming the way we capture site audit information, saving time, increasing accuracy and delivering a powerful new project management ability that will help us scale alongside our clients.

Striving for Better

When the idea was first suggested, the engineering team identified four key areas in site audits they felt they could improve. First, they wanted to streamline the coordination and scheduling of field-based resources. “Our goal was to provide our project managers with real-time visibility into the field schedule, job progress and the ability to collaborate with field teams in real time,” says Niall Kelly, Delmec’s Head of IT. They also hoped to make the capture of the tower geometry and loading characteristics of each tower site and the subsequent structural analysis more efficient and less prone to error. Lastly, they sought to find an alternative to the complex system of generating a structural analysis report, which involved mapping multiple outputs into a format readable by humans. They knew there had to be a way to make the process faster, more efficient and more accurate too.

Putting Technology to Work

The team came together to propose a solution to these issues. They developed a bespoke mobile-based application that would work hand-in-hand with TiMS (our Telecoms Infrastructure Management System) to enable our clients to access their structural reports alongside their site selection dashboard and reporting suite.

The completed app exceeded everyone’s expectations: not only did it better coordinate Delmec’s field-based operations and structural audit reports, but it also significantly reduced errors and lead-time and improved the quality of the tower audit and design processes. Through the research, the team also developed a new way to transfer data from international locations to the Delmec design office, something that has been of major benefit during the travel challenges of 2020.

A Competitive Edge

The app is now being used in all our operations, across Europe, Africa and Asia. Its unique functionality is proving a game changer, providing real benefits and tangible savings for our clients. By allowing our teams to audit on site — with our design engineers collaborating with field resources in real time — the app enables us to make informed decisions early in the audit / design cycle, saving our clients both time and money.

Project Eiffel has also reduced the time to audit from 9 hours to 3-4 hours, depending on the complexity of the structure. This relates to a saving of $300-$400 per site in some locations. We’ve also witnessed an estimated 30-40% reduction in time to complete the structural design, allowing our teams to attend a site and produce a design within a 48-hour period while ensuring that data is captured in a consistent manner. This has led to an improvement of the quality of the data capture too, with consistently high QA pass rates. Clients are especially pleased with the app’s ability to generate a digital twin of the structure in seconds, which historically took between 4-6 hours.

There are benefits in terms of project management too, as the app facilitates rapid deployment and simplified training of staff and contractors. In the future, this bespoke feature will enable the company to professionally manage large Telecom Network Systems around the world. Over time, Project Eiffel will significantly increase Delmec’s capacity and improve its business processes, providing a strong competitive edge and allowing the company to scale in accordance with the needs of its large, multinational client base. “When I started the engineering path, I always wished to work on something cool, new, and interesting,” says lead engineer Sreto Janic, who participated in the project. He takes great pride in knowing that his ideas “became a part of this new, bright future for Delmec.” Project Eiffel is the result of inspiration, innovation and most importantly, collaboration; synergy shapes success in Delmec, with our clients, our partners and our talented team.